NC residents are making extra cash on Airbnb. Here’s how much and where.

Allyn Meredith stands in the room she rents out in Durham on the Airbnb online platform. Meredith has been an Airbnb host since November 2011.
Allyn Meredith stands in the room she rents out in Durham on the Airbnb online platform. Meredith has been an Airbnb host since November 2011. vbridges@newsobserver.com

North Carolina residents who rented out their homes on Airbnb made $97 million in 2017, but one city fared far better than others in the state, according to an Airbnb report.

Asheville residents made almost $20 million last year by sharing their homes with 160,000 guests through Airbnb last year—that’s 20 percent of the overall income North Carolina residents made using the website, and 20 percent of overall guests who sought out lodging in North Carolina’s cities via Airbnb.

Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham also had a piece of that pie —residents in each city respectively made $8.7 million, $3.8 million and $3.1 million.

With the cost of living rising, some Raleigh residents have found a way to capitalize on the city’s growing popularity.

Among the top 15 North Carolina cities that profited on the home renting website, Raleigh ranked No. 4.

Short-term rental services like Airbnb and VRBO have been a contentious issue for the Raleigh City Council for more than two years as the city has struggled to agree on regulations for residents who want to rent out their homes for up to 30 days at a time.

Asheville City Council recently restricted where short-term rentals can exist in the city and has made a distinction between short-term rentals from other types of lodging, the Mountain Express reported.

The practice isn’t sanctioned in Raleigh, but the city has allowed residents to rent out their homes since 2014 until the city can make regulations.

The latest proposal in the council last year would’ve allowed residents to rent up to four rooms, but that proposal failed. The sticking point has mostly been whether residents should be allowed to rent out entire homes.

Supporters of short-term rentals in Raleigh say it’s good for tourism and could help residents make extra income for their own rent.

Critics worry that short-term rentals could affect affordable housing, and add more traffic, noise and strangers to local neighborhoods.

How did North Carolina’s cities fare on Airbnb?

North Carolina hosts from the beach to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and everyone else in between, typically shared their home with guests for 47 nights and made an average of $6,800 in 2017, according to Airbnb.

  • Asheville: $19.8 million
  • Charlotte: $8.7 million
  • Wilmington: $3.9 million
  • Raleigh: $3.8 million
  • Boone: $2.3 million
  • Durham: $3.1 million
  • Kill Devil Hills: $2.2 million
  • Chapel Hill: $1.7 million
  • Black Mountain: $1.4
  • Greensboro: $1.5 million
  • Carolina Beach: $1.9 million
  • Bryson City: $1.4 million
  • Brevard: $1.4 million
  • Hendersonville: $1.3 million
  • Swannanoa: $1.1 million

Camila Molina: 919-829-4538, @Cmolina__